The friendly skies are looking more and more friendly by the day! Thanks to Aircell, many U.S. fliers have been able to enjoy in-flight Wi-Fi services through the Gogo technology, but that's only for use in the 48 continental U.S. states. Outside of that (and a small part of Alaska), there's no way to stay online when you head out over an ocean. But thanks to technology from Panasonic and Lufthansa, that's slowly starting to change.
Lufthansa is relaunching their FlyNet program this week, and with it comes something huge: onboard Internet access on international flights. In fact, passengers can stay online from Europe to New York, with select North Atlantic intercontinental routes already equipped. In time, the airline hopes to cover the entire Lufthansa intercontinental network by the end of 2011. We certainly hope that whatever service this company is using, that other airlines agree to buy up service and offer as well.
Lufthansa is promising broadband speeds while in flight, and pricing doesn't seem too bad either. A 24-hour pass is just under 20 Euros, while a 1-hour pass is 9.95 Euros. The service, however, is totally free from now until Feb. 2011, so if you have a flight lined up, be sure to login and enjoy. Just make sure to bring a spare battery or external battery pack!
Lufthansa relaunches FlyNet Internet onboard service
30 November 2010
Lufthansa FlyNet service now available on board
Panasonic and Lufthansa are offering broadband Internet access on
long-haul routes – Diverse billing options with service provider
Deutsche Telekom – Introduc-tory offer: Free surfing until the end of
Lufthansa passengers travelling on long-haul flights can now once again
enjoy the full freedom of online communication. Together with its
long-standing partners Panasonic Avionics Corporation and Deutsche
Telekom, Lufthansa will be the first airline to offer its customers
broadband Internet access on intercontinental routes. The service, which
will initially be provided on selected North Atlantic routes, will be
available on nearly the entire Lufthansa intercontinental network by the
end of 2011. "Inflight Internet on board our long-haul flights is an
innovation in the interests of our customers," says Thierry Antinori,
mem-ber of the Lufthansa German Airlines Board. "FlyNet complements the
consistent commu-nications service offering for Lufthansa customers at
all points of the travel chain. It pro-vides them with completely new
and unique opportunities to spend their time on board or while waiting
for connecting flights."
The extremely fast, high-performance inflight Internet service gives
passengers with a WLAN-enabled laptop or smartphone unlimited online
access. Thanks to the high band-width, emails – including those with
large file attachments – can be sent and received without any time
delay. Business travellers can also access their company's Virtual
Pri-vate Network (VPN). In spring 2011, inflight data communication
should also be possible using the mobile phone standards GSM and GPRS.
In addition to the wireless Internet (WLAN) service, Lufthansa customers
will then be able to use their mobile phones to send and receive SMS
text messages and transfer data with smart phones such as the iPhone or
PDAs such as BlackBerry.
FlyNet is incredibly easy to use. Passengers – no matter where they are
sitting on the aircraft – can logon to the Internet with any
WLAN-enabled device, just as at any public hotspot, or in the near
future set up a connection with a GSM/GPRS-enabled device. After opening
the browser, they can automatically access the exclusive, free
Lufthansa FlyNet portal, where they will find constantly updated news
about economics, politics, sports and entertainment. Via this portal
they can access the Internet service provided by Deutsche Telekom, which
is to be paid from February 2011 on. Service provider information
detail-ing the various billing options is available on this portal as
well, including payment via credit card, via integrated roaming partners
or by redeeming Miles & More award miles. The price for one hour's
online access is 10.95 euros or 3,500 miles, while the 24-hour flat rate
is 19.95 euros or 7,000 miles. Under the 24-hour flat rate agreement,
passengers can access the Internet on all Lufthansa connecting flights
equipped with a hotspot during the period of validity as well as after
the flight in Lufthansa lounges.
Thanks to the introductory FlyNet offer, inflight Internet access will
be available for free on FlyNet-equipped aircraft until January 31,
Lufthansa operated the world's first scheduled flight with broadband
Internet access on 15 January 2003. From May 2004 until the end of 2006,
when Lufthansa's then-partner Con-nexion by Boeing discontinued the
service, wireless broadband Internet enjoyed increas-ing popularity. The
technology also proved very reliable. By the end of 2006, some 69 of
Lufthansa's long-range aircraft were equipped with FlyNet, making the
Lufthansa fleet the largest Internet-enabled long-haul fleet in the
world, with about 30,000 users per month.